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By Dan Moren for Macworld
Apple is fond of talking about its secret sauce, about the things only it can do because of its unprecedented combination of hardware, software, and services. But for all that it has been very successful with its strategy of making the whole widget, from soup to nuts, it’s pretty clear that all three of those areas aren’t exactly on equal footing.
Hardware, sure. The company’s been making computers since the late ’70s, and it’s never seriously moved away from that–let’s not talk about the awkward fumbling of the clone years. Likewise its software, which has gone from revolutionary operating system to also-ran back around to venerable and respected veteran of the computer industry.
But then there’s services. Services have and continue to be a weak spot for the company, and its biggest challenge in 2017. This chink in its armor has left Apple vulnerable to its competitors, for many of whom services are a strong suit.